Kindly note. It is Dr Madhavan from now on. Tamil star-actor R Madhavan has received the Doctor of Letters (D. Litt.) for his outstanding contribution to arts and cinema by DY Patil Education Society, Kolhapur, at their ninth convocation ceremony.
Madhavan who rushed to Kolhapur to receive the honour on 17 February says the experience was beyond anything he has experienced in life. “It was surreal. My only regret was that my wife Sarita and my son Vedant couldn’t accompany me to the event. I missed them in my golden moment. As I sat there hearing them say such wonderful things about me and my career, I was transported to my student days in Kolhapur. In hostel I had to do everything myself, even heat the water for a bath. This, for someone who lived life like a king in Canada was unbearable. When I look back I see that experience in self-actualization as essential to my growth.”
Madhavan was overwhelmed by all the wonderful encomiums that were showered on him while receiving the doctorate. “As they so lovingly spoke about my achievements, I could only see everything in my life as serendipitous. I never planned anything. And very often I did things without any idea of the outcome. Sometimes no fear of the darkness is ignorance rather than bravery. I took the plunge into television, then Tamil cinema then Hindi cinema not knowing how it would all pan out. Now here I am holding a D Litt in my hands.”
Only the most privileged showbiz personalities in India like Lata Mangeshkar and Kamal Haasan have got this privilege of being honoured with a doctorate.
Says Madhavan, “Even to be mentioned in the same breath as these two is a great honour for me. When actors like us get honoured with doctorates I wish the image of showbiz personalities as intellectually challenged frivolous dimwits would end. To a large extent we are ourselves responsible for not being taken seriously .Some of us constantly stress and project the glamorous side of our lives. As though being an actor is fun and games. In reality there are so many actors and films that have influenced the lives of millions. Look at the work Sonu Sood is doing. It’s awesome. Films like Rang De Basanti and 3 Idiots have changed the way we look at life. I am proud to say I was part of both.”
Maddy’s future plans? “This year you will see me as a director in Rocketry: The Nambi Effect where I direct and star in a bio-pic on space scientist Nambi Narayaran. Besides this I will continue to explore the darkness. I am not afraid to stumble and fall.”
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